Well, I was able to get out for a 42 mile ride on the new frame today and overall....it's a very nice ride.
At this point I'll go out on a limb and say it may have the stiffest bottom bracket I've had on any bike I've ridden. Get out of the saddle an it's stiff, doesn't flex and gives great acceleration.
The ride of the bike is stiff....not what I would put in the "vertically compliant laterally stiff category"
It rides harsher than my previous carbon frame, but is still within acceptable parameters for overall ride quality. I won't have any issues spending 4+ hours on it in the future.
The stiffness of the frame makes climbing more enjoyable. When combined with the longer front center, I found myself out of the saddle more than I have in the past...a lot more. It just felt more comfortable to be out of the saddle and just as powerful if not more so.
Handling wise it was rock solid at speeds near 50 mph. It goes through corners well and this is the first bike in a while I feel perfectly fine riding with no hands. Other bikes I've had felt too squirrelly to ride with no hands.
The rear end also feels a little more solid than on my previous carbon fiber bike. Not sure if it's actually stiffer or just due to different geometry, but it feels like it's flexing less....which in turn instills more confidence in the turns.
Out of the saddle with the longer front end I can get out of the saddle and sprint hard at higher speeds. One of my big issues with my previous bike was that it was squirrelly when sprinting at speeds over 36 mph or so. Today on a descent when I hit a flat part I jumped out of the saddle at 43 mph and gave a hard sprint and it felt very stable...so sprinting in the future should be better since I can stay out of the saddle longer for better power transfer at high speeds.
The downsides so far:
I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the -10 degree stem yet. It feels good in the drops, but I feel too tall on the hoods. I might change out from the 110/-10 stem to a 100/-17 stem in the future....but I'm not sure. I'll spend a few hundred miles with this set up before deciding to change or not.
The internal rear brake cable routing...while very slick and nice looking rattles inside the top tube on rougher roads, which can get a little annoying after a while. On a group ride I probably wouldn't notice it, but riding solo it's very apparent. When I got home I shortened the cable housing by 1cm so I'll see if that makes a difference on future rides.
The harsher ride may lead to a little more fatigue on longer rides/races. I'll have to see how this goes and may start using 25c tires with 5-10 psi less for a better ride in the future.
Overall...for $650.00 I'm quite happy with the frame so far. I've got a lot of riding to do before I feel really good about the purchase and a lot will be found out if I get it out for a hard group ride this weekend (weather dependent).